What’s on Your Cape?

I had a wonderful conversation with my friend the other day. She had engaged in a playful exchange with a new friend and was asked, “Do you have any powers?” It was a wonderful question! What a cool way to find out about a person. Rather than the usual laundry list that doesn’t usually divulge who we really are, like where do you work, or what do you like to do? This was a non-threatening way to decide how much to reveal (or not to reveal) about her authentic self.

After my friend responded to the question, she asked her new friend, “What’s on Your Cape?  As she and I continued our conversation, before hanging up, she asked me the same question. I told her I knew what many of my super-powers were and that I would draw her a picture and send it to her the next morning.

Before I went to sleep, I thought about my super-powers. I have a great sense of humor about them, but for a few moments, I paused and really thought about why I am so honed in on certain things. Without judgment, I knew that many things I consider my super-powers are the effects of my trauma and manifest as part of my PTSD symptoms.

I can read non-verbals really well. I look for “tells” in people. I look for that moment when they perhaps will strike, or if their eyes change, forehead creases, and for changes in expression. I look at body language. I listen with more than my ears.

“Listening with more than my ears,”  is a very good communication skill, and I would like to say that it’s because I am such a good listener and always fully present; hearing what people say, without thinking ahead of how I’m going to reply.  If I’m being completely honest, it’s a vestige of having to be aware of my perpetrator’s next move.  But, also, I give myself a break and acknowledge if I know you, and trust you, I am listening and trying to be fully present. So, okay…I’m wearing that on my cape.

When I walk into a public place, I immediately check to see where all the exits are, who is sitting where, and if I sit down, I place myself where I can see the door. Sometimes my friends notice and I laughingly say, “I’m just making sure you are safe.” That statement in itself is enough to raise eyebrows. The reason I really do that is my hyper-vigilance.

I know where I am spacially. It’s not very often, that I will say, “Oh, I didn’t see you there.” I am hyper-aware of who is standing where and what is happening around me.

This is a very truncated list, and I would include my ability to be extremely non-judgemental of most people, compassionate, and empathetic. These are proudly stitched in sparkly gold on my purple cape. But I found it extremely interesting that the four or five “powers” that felt the most comfortable and comforting were the ones that are no longer useful for me to employ. And yet I depend on them and find solace in saying, that they are my “super-powers.”

So without judgment of yourself…What is on Your Cape?

 

Thank you for reading my new book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels, available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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42 thoughts on “What’s on Your Cape?

  1. This is a good way to not only get to know someone a little better, but to also prompt self-reflection. I’d say I’m pretty intuitive and can “feel” people and the emotions in the room very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Reps & Recipes and commented:
    I love this post from Alexis Rose and wanted to share it as I think it’s a positive and empowering question to ask ourselves. We may realise our super power/s are due for an update, and if so, we’ve now given ourselves the opportunity to reboot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful post and thought-provoking question for someone who is much more at ease in identifying and discussing my failings! I’m going to think about this, because each of us has a super power 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that really is a powerful question. I’ll be adding that to my list of questions to ask when getting to know a potential new friend. My superpower is also my cryptonite though. I struggle with sensory processing, and there are both good and bad aspects to it. Just like with everything else I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this Alexis. Those of us who’ve survived trauma do tend to develop a ‘people antennae’, it’s s pretty good super power. The gift in the challenge. Hmm, what’s on my cape? Tonight I’ll go with a healthy sense of humor and ribbons of hope. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ohhh, I love how you are so in touch with your senses. Thinking of some of the effects of my trauma as super-powers is a new way and not so serious to interpret them for me. Makes me way less hard on myself. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Those who have gone through trauma and have come out the other side have many of these superpowers. It was interesting to see you note some of the same ones that I have.

    I’ve always called it hyper awareness, but the way you describe hyper vigilance is a pretty good match. I also sense where people are in relation to things even when I cannot see them or when they aren’t near. I don’t watch windows and doors because I can actually feel danger coming. But I intrinsically know my surroundings like a map, and if I’ve been there once, I will generally remember the place for a lifetime.

    I’m also a very good listener, and this has further developed with my empathic side. Sometimes I’m listening before people speak and want to say “I know” when they finally do. I don’t though. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh I love the idea of “everyday superpowers” mine would probably be the ability to read and watch tv at the same time 😀 I like that this question can be silly or serious, and its amazing that you can analyze your superpowers without judgement 🙂 I will have to think more seriously on mine but nothing is really coming to mind. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on Love is all we need… and commented:
    What are your superpowers? What an absolutely perfect question in every situation. And, our superpowers come from our trials and tribulations, the situations we’ve encountered where we had to pull from that place in the deepest cauldrons of who we are. Instead of framing these experiences as our broken places, we can turn them around to be where we were our most heroic. Of course… xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this idea! I need to think about what would be on mine… I often feel like I’m a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of person, do it would take a long time to name anything I’m truly good at. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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